DOH says COVID-19 cases increasing across all age groups

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2021 03:49 PM

A health worker attends to patients at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on Aug. 13, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A health worker attends to patients at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on Aug. 13, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — COVID cases are increasing across all age groups, the health department said Tuesday, as the country continued logging record daily cases. 

DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said infections among those aged 9 and below increased by 74 percent this August.

"Subalit wala pong malaking pagkakaiba ‘yan sa contribution ng bawat age group sa total dami ng kaso dito sa ating bansa," said the health official. 

(But that has no big difference from the contribution of each age group to the total number of cases here in our country.)

Twenty to 59-year-olds still account for the biggest proportion of cases, she said. 

"There is no large shifts in the proportion of all age groups because most of them remain the same as with the trends in the past months," Vergeire said. 
To protect children two years old and older from COVID-19, kids can wear anti-virus masks outside their home, she said. 

Masks are not recommended for children aged below 2, those experiencing difficulty or have cognitive or respiratory impairments, and if there is a risk they could be choked or strangled, added the official. 

"Ang alternatibo po ay pagsuotin natin ng face shield ang ating mga kabataan kung saka-sakaling sila po ay isasama palabas for medical reasons," Vergeire said. 

(The alternative is to have our children wear face shields if we will go out with them for medical reasons.) 

Experts have yet to recommend that children be inoculated against COVID-19 because this will affect the supply of jabs for other priority groups like the elderly, she said. 

"Mortality and morbidity data across age groups do not support the urgency to prioritize vaccination of the pediatric population as of this time," said Vergeire.

She said children could be protected if adults in their household get vaccinated instead. 

DOH said this month's uptick in COVID-19 cases was also "comparable" to last April's peak in coronavirus infections. 

Average daily reported cases from Aug. 10 to 16 was at 12,824, which about 45 percent higher than the average 8,930 cases per day reported from Aug. 3 to 9, said DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. 

During the previous peak from March 29 to April 4, the country had logged an average of 10,431 cases daily, according to a slideshow that she presented. 

"Ang peak na nakita natin nitong pangalawang linggo ng Agosto ay maikukumpara na sa peak na nakita natin noong April 2021," Vergeire said in a press briefing. 
The Philippines has tallied some 1.7 million coronavirus infections and around 30,000 deaths. Government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy. 

At least 12.5 million people have so far been fully vaccinated.

Video courtesy of PTV/RTVM